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Trust in God's Plans for You
Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up. The first little tree looked up at the stars and said, "I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I'll be the most beautiful treasure in the world!" The second little tree looked out at a small stream trickling by on it's way to the ocean. "I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I'll be the strongest ship in the world."
The third tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. "I don't want to leave this mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they will raise there eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world." Years passed. Rain came, the sun shone, and the little trees grew tall. One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain. The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, "This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the first tree fell. "Now I will be made into a beautiful chest. I shall hold wonderful treasure!" the first tree said. The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, "this tree is strong, it is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the second tree fell. "Now I shall sail mighty waters!" thought the second tree. "I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!" The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looker her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven. But the woodcutter toppled it. Any kind of tree will do for me." he muttered. With a swoop of his shining ax the third tree fell.
The beginning of the Christian life is easy; the end is joyous. The middle is where the fiercest battles take place and many fall away.
Be encouraged. And keep your eye on the prize....Eternal life with Christ Jesus!
Lowly Sinners, Everyone
I like the story historians tell about the funeral of Charlemagne. Charlemagne was the greatest Christian ruler of the early Middle Ages. After his death a mighty funeral procession left his castle for the cathedral at Aix. When the royal casket arrived, with a lot of pomp and circumstance, it was met by the local bishop, who barred the cathedral door.
"Who comes?" the Bishop asked, as was the custom.
"Charlemagne, Lord and King of the Holy Roman Empire," proclaimed the Emperor's proud herald.
"Him I know not," the Bishop replied. "Who comes?"
They Could Not See Him
The Pharisees and other leaders closely watched Jesus but they could not see His meaning. They could not see the issues as Jesus saw them, so they set themselves against Him rather than making an alliance with Him. They were so hung up on rules, laws and ceremonies, that they missed the heart of faith: God’s forgiving love that frees one to live as son or daughter of God.
It’s similar to the musical genius of Johann Sebastian Bach. We know him to be among the musical masters of all time. But it was not so for his contemporaries. The parishioners at St. Thomas Church often complained about the strange and innovative music that Bach wrote for the choir and organ each Sunday. They didn’t know what a gifted musician was in their midst. After his death, the music of Bach was seldom performed until Felix Mendelssohn began a revival of appreciation that has lasted into our own time. So the people of Bach’s time watched him, but they didn’t see him.
The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve ~ Albert Schweitzer
In His Sandals
I cannot serve two masters. I serve, but only one,
for if I love some sinfulness, I hate God's only Son.
Could I walk in His sandals? Do I really understand?
Of what would it encompass? Of what would it demand?
Could I put up with some abuse, and could I humbly be,
a whipping board of insults, for all to scoff at me?
Could I withstand a whipping? Tell me, would I know,
the pain down in my open wounds, torn flesh from every blow?